Body & Form

...ethnography of the sensory, landscapes and built-forms

Location: we are international
Members: 37
Latest Activity: Sep 21, 2014

I wanted to send a shout to all the new members, welcoming them all to this small forum and the increasingly dynamic OAC site. I would encourage them to contribute (actually that goes for all the older members aswell). If any of you are interested in knowing about and forging the direction anthropology will be taking in the upcoming years -I encourage you to consider getting involved in the EASA conference this coming summer. I've posted some materials under the 'Tallinn 2014' group on the OAC frontpage for those who want more information -a full description can be found on the easa site itself. abrazos, j

Discussion Forum

1 ~ Body, Form & Landscape ... 1 Reply

The concept of landscape...puts emphasis on form, in just the same way that the concept of the body emphasizes the form rather than the function of a living creature. If the body is the form in which…Continue

Started by juan rojas. Last reply by Ximena Alarcon Apr 3, 2012.

Comment Wall

Comment by Jonathan Skinner on October 25, 2011 at 7:04am
Call for Papers: "Hesitation and uncertainty in bodily practice" (W122)

EASA2012: Uncertainty and disquiet
Nanterre University, France, 10/07/2012 – 13/07/2012


Eleni Bizas (University of St Andrews)
Jonathan Skinner (Queen's University Belfast)

Short Abstract

This panel focuses on the nature of hesitation and uncertainty in bodily practice. We wish to interrogate these turning-point moments in the learning, the doing, and the observing of dance and other forms. How too might a refined understanding of these moments and their conceptualisation assist with the more general anthropological enterprise?


Hesitation, moments of uncertainty, and accidental events are part of a dancer's experience in learning, doing and performing dance. In dance traditions, such in-between moments communicate, do, and symbolize differently and need to be approached appropriately by participants and researchers alike.

A hesitation is perhaps a particular moment of being, a defining pause or lull to becoming. A hesitation might be accidental - suggesting a cognitive and/or corporeal uncertainty about movements. The accidental in an otherwise scripted performance may be ignored or appropriated, perhaps signaling the performers' confidence, creativity and artistic authorship. Hesitation can also be instrumental. It may be performed to introduce one's solo so as to communicate improvisation to the audience. Unscripted moments may also be part of a performance, to allow for individual or group expression. The ambiguity of hesitation in a performance might challenge the expectations of an artistic community. The audience as well as the performers - and apprentice anthropologist - may experience insecurity in the inbetweeness of the hesitation. However, whereas uncertainty in one's dancing can indicate the degree of familiarity with the 'rules of the game', insecurity signals a 'break' with one's habitus while highlighting the aesthetic values of, say, an unfamiliar dance.

This panel focuses on the nature of hesitation and uncertainty in bodily practice. We wish to interrogate these turning-point moments in the learning, the doing, and the observing of dance and other forms. How too might a refined understanding of these moments and their conceptualisation assist with the more general anthropological enterprise?

The call for papers is now open and will close on November 28. To propose a paper you can do so at:
Comment by juan rojas on March 3, 2012 at 2:25pm

It has been some time since I created this forum with the idea of posting thoughts and ideas about the anthropology of landscape, urban form and the body. It has taken awhile to gather together a few members (given the gen lack of activity on my part, this is perhaps to be expected) I would like to finally get things going and pikc up the pace with contributions and feedback. But first, I would like to WELCOME all of the members -especially the last few who all joined recently - Chiara Garbellotto, Kathryn Ashworth , Alessandra Vena, and Ramšak Mojca to the forum. I would also like to encourage the others to participate more often now that I (juan rojas - UCL Material Culture) will play a role of informal moderator as well as being from time to time more provocative and questioning. 

So to start, I have found a web page that I think is very relevant and intriguing that I want to share with everyone -- and get your opinion of it, PLACE HACKING: Explore Everything  is a pretty cool website - but after examining it a bit ---well what do you think ?.


I will also of course join in. best, j

Comment by juan rojas on March 30, 2012 at 9:30am

Hacking is a very suggestive term and can be taken to suggest an illicit entry into places as well as entry into illicit, protected or guarded places. I would like to ask what 'hacking ' would mean if places are understood as primarily through identity and personhood that would, give them, in an ethnographic vein, a character closely linked to occupants who come to understand themselves in terns of this relationship. In short - an indigenous concern with place. Can 'place hacking' ever approach this side of landscape formation -or is it tied to the identity of those who will share in the novelty of transgression.

Comment by juan rojas on March 30, 2012 at 9:55am

SENSATE website (dedicated to Ethnography of the senses and media practice) has posted some excellent materials on place and sound by Stephan Feld, I would strongly recommend the piece 'Waking in Nima' which explores the relationship between waking and sound. The commentary by Feld is also very illustrative of the approach he has developed in his work.


Comment by juan rojas on April 3, 2012 at 1:34pm
Some Ballet Spectators Truly Know How to Feel the Move Ballet lovers may “truly feel that they are dancing” when they watch a performance, researchers have found after measuring the brain activity of experienced spectators

  ‎'We suggest that spectators covertly simulate the movements for which they have acquired visual experience, and that empathic abilities heighten motor resonance during dance observation  (

Comment by juan rojas on April 11, 2012 at 5:05am

Artpologist 'is a collective of artists and social scientists that combine art and anthropology to engage in the visual exploration of urban landscapes. As artists, we investigate cities through visual means. As anthropologists, we use ethnographic fieldwork to situate our inquiry in the perspective of different people in changing places.'

Our long-term project is a cross-cultural investigation of the inscription of class on urban landscapes through the eyes of the people. We will compare how socioeconomic class configures urban spaces and how material environment enforces class distinctions in cities worldwide.  -

Comment by Karole Mazeika on April 13, 2012 at 11:02pm

Great concept.  I'm a sucker for cross-pollination. A little too broad a mission statement for what they are actually showing and would be more successful if they were to narrow their focus.  Name made me laugh - apologist.

Comment by Elizabeth Rodrigues da Costa on April 15, 2012 at 3:55pm



O culto de Oxossi do reino de Ketu (África) foi o primeiro que foi implantado no Candomblé da Barroquinha (Salvador- Bahia- Brasil). Segundo Renato da Silveira, Oxossi, ou Odé, o orixá dos caçadores em toda a região jeje-nagô, também chamado de Ibualama, foi tornado o onilê, o “senhor da terra” aqui, “indicando que ele é o orixá mais antigo cultuado na Bahia” (2006:384). Odé Oni Popô, antigo, também na região de Ketu e Shabé (2006:386), tem sua morada no candomblé da Casa Branca. A sua saudação Okê Arô, Oké Odé, Oké Oxossi saúda a divindade e os descendentes. Há um momento, na festa de Oxum da Iyalorixá[1], a última do ciclo anual, em que se faz uma considerável referência ao sentimento de pertencimento a essa nação implantada aqui, com grande manifestação de alegria, cânticos, saudações e gestos de reverência no momento que a música (chamada por algumas pessoas de hino de Alaketu) é tocada e cantada. Muitos ficam ajoelhados, tocam o chão e levam a mão à testa e em volta da cabeça, e todos cantam (em ioruba), ou tentam cantar, enquanto lá fora espocam foguetes.


Nas sociedades tradicionais de onde vieram esses africanos, “a administração da aliança sacramentada entre a comunidade e as forças telúricas e cósmicas era um dos fundamentos da vida social”, nos conta Renato da Silveira, e diz que “por isso uma gameleira foi plantada na Barroquinha, quando da fundação do axé, e dois pés de biriba quando da fundação do Terreiro de Alaketu (2006: 523). Podemos ver que o espaço começa com uma demarcação mítica. Essa configuração rítmica do espaço, a sua arquitetura, inaugura uma disposição que se transpõe para outras dimensões e fatores. A organização deste foi um fator definitivo para a formação do sistema religioso e possui uma significância na implantação da cultura, no estabelecimento da hierarquia e das diferentes posições sociais.

[1] Assistido, em 1991, no dia da festa de Oxum de Mãe Tatá (Altamira Cecília dos Santos, atual mãe-de-santo deste Terreiro.

Referência Bibliográfica

Silveira, Renato. "O candomblé da Barroquinha" Salvador, Edições Maianga, 2006


Comment by juan rojas on April 29, 2012 at 4:27am

German far-right extremists tap into green movement for support

Comment by juan rojas on May 1, 2012 at 6:47am

Neurochemicals like serotonin still remain central to this new theory of depression, but they function differently: as dynamic factors that make nerves grow, perhaps forming new circuits. The painter Cézanne, confronting one of Monet’s landscapes, supposedly exclaimed: “Monet is just an eye, but, God, what an eye.”  ( Post-Prozac Nation :


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